Belated Barton Blog - A Huffy Story
Before I forget this ever happened...
The course was amazing. Nice roads with spectacular views of the mountain. It was awesome to be in the peloton, for a couple of laps, seeing my teammates doing well.
I managed to stay with the pack on the first lap, just barely. After tootling around the course, just as someone in the pack suggested, hit the brutal, stair-step, crushing little hill, harder on the second lap, gapping me off.
A couple of us joined forces and made it back by the highway turns. Getting as low as I could, tucked into the groups that was rolling a little more steady.
Somewhere on the north side of the course, a couple of fast guys got off the front and we did a bit of chasing. I took one turn as we brought them back and slowing down the peloton before the climb. My race legs are not ready for sprinting up that hill and off the back I went. Chasing the peloton till we hit the hill again, that was it.
The rest of the laps was me taking major pulls in small chase groups, getting a bit better at the accent. Riders would get swept up along the way. Most dropped off. Saul said, "Hi, bye". I was sorry to see him go, since he had done so well. Some chasers tried to distance me on the climb, only to be caught on the windy false flat. I didn't understand the cat 5 thinking. One guy, Greg from Seattle, made the choice to hang with me, giving a few much appreciated turns at the front. He couldn't understand how I could be so strong on all the course but the hill. How about over weight? On the windy false flat, we motored (no motor) by two Woman Racers, and I hear, "click, click", and they jump in line and hung at the back for three laps. No talk, no work, no worries.
Our last time up the hill was brutal! It was hotter. The wind was stronger. None of us four, me, Greg and the two passengers, wanted to get dropped(ok, I didn't want to get dropped) with a K to go. At the top, I geared up and put distance on the three before the last turn and flew solo to the finish for my 14th place.
The ride back to the car was hell till I caught up with Greg and two Olympia riders. They were joyous from the young woman victory. Up lifting...
Chatting with friends about their race experience in the breezy park was super nice. The hungry drive home was a fight against cramps in my accelerator foot and leg. Had to decline a BBQ invite for a quite home cooked meal with the sponsor.